Chief Health (P5), FT, #104733, Port Sudan – Sudan (For non-Sudanese national)

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UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund

The Chief is responsible for managing and leading all stages of health programmes/projects (e.g gender, maternal, neonatal, child survival, emergency preparedness) from strategic planning and formulation to delivery of results. S/he leads and manages the health team including establishing plans of action to achieve concrete and sustainable results according to plans, allocation, results based-management approaches and methodology (RBM), as well as UNICEF’s Strategic Plans, standards of performance, and accountability framework, and does so in consultation with the Regional Health Adviser

UNICEF works in over 190 countries and territories to save children’s lives, defend their rights, and help them fulfill their potential, from early childhood through adolescence.

At UNICEF, we are committed, passionate, and proud of what we do. Promoting the rights of every child is not just a job – it is a calling.

UNICEF is a place where careers are built: we offer our staff diverse opportunities for personal and professional development that will help them develop a fulfilling career while delivering on a rewarding mission. We pride ourselves on a culture that helps staff thrive, coupled with an attractive compensation and benefits package.

Visit our website to learn more about what we do at UNICEF.

For every child, Health 

II. Organizational Context and Purpose for the job

Sudan is the third largest country by land area in Africa and is geo-strategically important being located at the cross-roads of Sub-Saharan Africa, East Africa and the Middle East. It has long been a center of trade and commerce and link between neighbouring countries. The country has significant natural resource endowments, including vast arable lands, water, forests, minerals, and precious metals.

Sudan’s history has been marked by coups, political instability, and conflict, which is hindering socio-economic development gains.

The last five years were marked by several rapid political changes. Despite the efforts to shield Sudan’s poor from the effects of the economic adjustments, Sudan’s economic crisis worsened over time, exacerbated by the effects of COVID-19.  In April 2023 the situation escalated further into open violent conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), reactivating over time also prior fault lines in different parts of the country. With the state of the economy already precarious, exacerbated by social unrest, shortages of basic services and livelihood inputs, and freezing of foreign assistance, the military conflict risks pushing the country into a state of collapse.

Fighting between the RSF and the SAF in various states as well as heavy clashes in Khartoum and other urban areas has led to significant displacement of millions of people, both internally and across the border into neighboring countries. Approaching a year of conflict, almost all schools across the country remain closed.

UN entities are working with international and national NGOs to address the immediate needs. Basic services across Sudan have been characterized by weak capacity for delivery, low levels of public expenditure, shortage of qualified personnel, and inadequate infrastructure; further strained by the conflict, including pressure by displaced populations.

UNICEF is responding to the crisis by providing integrated Health, Nutrition, WASH, Education, Child Protection, and Cash assistance. While much of the response is focused on humanitarian interventions UNICEF and other partners are also aiming to build on Sudan’s strong community-based organizations, and lessons learned from other projects, to provide sustainable community led basic services.

Job organizational context: The Chief, Health reports to the Deputy Representative for general guidance and direction.


Purpose for the job: The Chief is responsible for managing and leading all stages of health programmes/projects (e.g gender, maternal, neonatal, child survival, emergency preparedness) from strategic planning and formulation to delivery of results. S/he leads and manages the health team including establishing plans of action to achieve concrete and sustainable results according to plans, allocation, results based-management approaches and methodology (RBM), as well as UNICEF’s Strategic Plans, standards of performance, and accountability framework, and does so in consultation with the Regional Health Adviser.

How can you make a difference? 

II. Key function, accountabilities and related duties/tasks

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:


  1. Managerial leadership
  2. Programme development and planning
  3. Programme management, monitoring and quality control of results
  4. Advisory services and technical support
  5. Advocacy, networking and partnership building
  6. Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building


1. Managerial leadership

 Establish the section’s annual work plan with the health team, and set priorities and targets. Monitor work progress and ensure results are achieved according to schedule and performance standards.

 Establish clear individual performance objectives, goals and timelines; and provide timely guidance to enable the team to perform their duties responsibly and efficiently. Plan and ensure timely performance management and assessment of the team.
 Supervise team members by providing them with clear objectives, goals, direction, and guidance to enable them to perform their duties responsibly, effectively and efficiently.
2. Programme development and planning
 Lead the preparation, design and updating of the situation analysis to establish a comprehensive and updated strategic plan for development, design and management of health-related programmes. Keep abreast of national, regional and global development trends and priorities to determine the strategies, approaches and priorities for programming to address the country’s health needs.
 Oversee the timely preparation of health programme recommendation to ensure the alignment of programmes with the overall UNICEF Strategic Plan, Country Programme, and coherence and integration with the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), regional strategies, and national priorities, plans and competencies.
 Lead, coordinate and supervise the formulation, design and quality implementation of programs at scale to support the health system to deliver on its mandate for prevention and treatment of diseases and promotion of health. This includes leading on multilateral engagements on health programs related to partnerships with the World Bank, GAVI and Global Fund Oversee the timely preparation of the health programme recommendation and related documentation for inclusion in the Country Office Programme recommendation ensuring alignment with UNICEF’s Strategic Plans, regional strategies and national priorities, plans and competencies.
 Consult and collaborate with colleagues and externa; partners to provide technical and operational support on programme planning, management and implementation, and to ensure integration, coherence and harmonization of programmes/projects with UNICEF Strategic Plans, donors’ development strategies, policies, country level national priorities and competencies, and UN system development interventions and initiatives.
 Lead UNICEF humanitarian action on health, including over-sight guidance to the health sector partners in emergencies in collaboration with WHO and the health cluster coordination platform.

3. Programme management, monitoring and quality control of results

 Coordinate, plan and/or collaborate with monitoring and evaluation initiatives to establish benchmarks, performance indicators and other UNICEF/UN system indicators, to assess and strengthen performance accountability, coherence, and delivery of concrete and sustainable results in health programmes.
 Participate in major monitoring and evaluation exercises, programme reviews and annual sector reviews with government and other counterparts to assess progress and to determine required action/interventions to achieve results.

 Assess monitoring and evaluation reports to identify gaps, strengths and/or weaknesses in programme management ; identify lessons learned and use knowledge gained for development planning and timely intervention to achieve goals.
 Monitor programmes/projects to assess progress, identify bottlenecks and potential problems and take timely decisions to resolve issues and/or refer to relevant officials for timely resolution.
 Provide leadership to monitoring of the humanitarian action related to the delivery of emergency health response including collaboration for quality disease surveillance and response, as well as monitoring the provision of basic health services at scale
 Plan, approve, monitor, and control the use of programme resources (financial, human, administrative and other assets) certifying/verifying compliance with organizational rules, regulations and procedures, donor commitments and standards of accountability and integrity. Ensure timely reporting and liquidation of resources.
 Submit programme/project reports to donors and other partners to keep them informed on programme progress and critical issues.

4. Advisory services and technical support

 Advise key government officials, NGO partners, UN system partners and other country office partners on policies, strategies and best practices and approaches on health and related issues to support programme development planning, management, implementation, and delivery of results.
 Participate in strategic discussions to influence policy discussions and agenda setting to promote health and development issues especially in the areas of gender, emergency preparedness, maternal, neonatal and child survival and development.
 Prepare policy papers, briefs and other strategic Programme materials for management use, information and/or consideration.
 Participate in emergency preparedness initiatives Programme development and contingency planning and/or to respond to emergencies in country or where designated.
5. Advocacy, networking and partnership building

• Build and strengthen strategic partnerships with health sector government counterparts, national stakeholders and global partners, allies, donors, and academia through active networking, advocacy and effective communication of UNICEF’s mission, goals, programmes, and resource mobilizations needs.
• Develop communication strategies as well as implementation plans and activities for maximum communication impact and outreach to promote awareness, establish partnership/alliances and support fund raising for UNICEF and Country Office health programmes (maternal, neonatal and child survival).
 Participate and/or represent UNICEF in inter-agency (UNCT) discussions and planning on health-related issues to ensure organizational position, interests and priorities are fully considered and integrated in the UNDAF process in development planning and agenda setting. Collaborate with inter-agency partners and colleagues in UNDAF planning and preparation of health programmes/projects.

6. Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building

 Promote critical thinking, innovative approaches and good practices for sustainable health programmes/projects initiatives.

• Keep abreast, research, benchmark, and implement best and cutting edge practices in the health management and information systems. Institutionalize and share best practices and knowledge learned.

 Lead and/or develop policies and procedures and introduce innovation and best practices to ensure optimum efficiency and efficacy of sustainable programmes and projects.
• Lead, plan and implement capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of stakeholders to promote sustainable results on health related programmes/projects

IV. Impact of Results

The strategic and effective planning and formulation of health programmes/projects and the achievement of sustainable results, directly impact the improvement of the health of the most marginalized and vulnerable women and children in the country, and this in turn contributes to maintaining/enhancing the credibility and ability of UNICEF to continue to provide programme services to protect the rights of children and promote greater social equality to enable children to survive, develop and reach their full potential in society.

Supervise team members by providing them with clear objectives, goals, direction, and guidance to enable them to perform their duties responsibly, effectively and efficiently.

If you would like to know more about this position, please review the complete Job Description here: Download File Chief of Health P5_JD.doc

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

VI. Recruitment Qualifications

Education: A medical or advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: public health, pediatric health, family health, health research, global/international health, health policy and/or management, environmental health sciences, biostatistics, socio-medical, health education, epidemiology or another relevant technical field.

Experience: A minimum of ten years of professional experience in one or more of the following areas, at the international level, is required: public health planning and management, maternal and neonatal health care, or health emergency/humanitarian preparedness.  Experience working in a developing country is considered as an asset.

Relevant experience in a UN system agency or organization is considered as an asset.

Language Requirements: Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of Arabic is a strong asset. Knowledge of another official UN language (Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s Core Values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust and Accountability and Sustainability (CRITAS) underpin everything we do and how we do it. Get acquainted with Our Values Charter: UNICEF Values

The UNICEF competencies required for this post are…

i) Core Values

  • Care
  • Respect
  • Integrity
  • Trust
  • Accountability
  • Sustainability

ii) Core Competencies (For Staff with Supervisory Responsibilities) *

 Nurtures, Leads and Manages People (2)

  • Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (2)
  • Works Collaboratively with others (2)
  • Builds and Maintains Partnerships (2)
  • Innovates and Embraces Change (2)
  • Thinks and Acts Strategically (2)
  • Drive to achieve impactful results (2)
  • Manages ambiguity and complexity (2)

Familiarize yourself with our competency framework and its different levels.

UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.

We offer a wide range of measures to include a more diverse workforce, such as paid parental leave, time off for breastfeeding purposes, and reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities. UNICEF strongly encourages the use of flexible working arrangements.

UNICEF does not hire candidates who are married to children (persons under 18). UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority, and discrimination. UNICEF is committed to promoting the protection and safeguarding of all children. All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.

UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance.  Issuance of a visa by the host country of the duty station is required for IP positions and will be facilitated by UNICEF. Appointments may also be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid). Should you be selected for a position with UNICEF, you either must be inoculated as required or receive a medical exemption from the relevant department of the UN. Otherwise, the selection will be canceled.


UNICEF’s active commitment to diversity and inclusion is critical to deliver the best results for children. For this position, eligible and suitable female are encouraged to apply.

Government employees who are considered for employment with UNICEF are normally required to resign from their government positions before taking up an assignment with UNICEF. UNICEF reserves the right to withdraw an offer of appointment, without compensation, if a visa or medical clearance is not obtained, or necessary inoculation requirements are not met, within a reasonable period for any reason. 

UNICEF does not charge a processing fee at any stage of its recruitment, selection, and hiring processes (i.e., application stage, interview stage, validation stage, or appointment and training). UNICEF will not ask for applicants’ bank account information.

Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

All UNICEF positions are advertised, and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process. An internal candidate performing at the level of the post in the relevant functional area, or an internal/external candidate in the corresponding Talent Group, may be selected, if suitable for the post, without assessment of other candidates.

Additional information about working for UNICEF can be found here.

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